I've been around THR for a while but unfortunately I don't stray too far from the General or autoloader handgun pages. I am old enough to know that it's cheaper to buy quality and I would like a few suggestions.
I am looking for an all around quality-carry-everyday-pocket-knife that would see utility work and as a back-up in a self defense situation. I would rather it be automatic or at least a one hand opener. Am I nuts?
It's not that money is no object but I would like to have it quite a while.
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June 4, 2008, 11:26 PM
You have to try very hard indeed to get a better made pocketknife than the Chris Reeve Sebenza (http://www.chrisreeve.com/sebenza.htm). Of course you're going to pay for that quality, $330 for the small and $385 for the large. However you'd be getting every penny of your money's worth in my opinion.
For less money but still retaining quality I'd look at Benchmade. The Axis lock is phenomenal, and I've been impressed with their quality. I've liked my Spydercos, but I think they're a small step below the Benchmade in quality. Not much, mind you, but still I've noticed.
I've heard really good things about the quality of Emerson knives. I dislike most of their blade styles (I have no use for an Americanized tanto style blade and I don't want a really wavy blade) but I hear they're well made.
For my best $0.02 worth, I don't believe anyone makes a folder as good as the Chris Reeve Sebenza.
June 4, 2008, 11:38 PM
Agreed! I'd go with a Chris Reeve Sebenza as first choice and a Benchmade Osborne axis lock 2nd.
If you want an automatic, then Microtech (I'd love to own an Makara) followed by Benchmade again. I'd get a Mel Pardue spearpoint.
June 5, 2008, 12:26 AM
Hi shuvlinoff, love your signature btw..
If you're just buying one, go big for the chris reeve. I've gotten loads of use from a Kershaw Leek however. If I wanted it to do last ditch SD duty too I'd probably go with a Blur.
I won't lie to you, I've never cut my way out of a helicopter or lived in the jungle, but I've dressed a few deer and shaved my share of marshmallow skewers - the exact type of X-TREEM duty Kershaw makes their knives for.
check out the Zero Tolerance 0300.
I like the way that feels better than the Sebenza. But the Sebby is a solid option.
Do you have price range ?
June 5, 2008, 04:54 AM
What's so special about the Sebenza? :confused:
June 5, 2008, 10:34 AM
see utility work
Define that in a little more detail for us, please. Some guys use their "utility" folder to trim molding or scrape battery cables or use their knife for screwdriver or cut drywall or ....
June 5, 2008, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the responses and the links. Now my decision is even tougher LOL!
I probably wouldn't shove a $300 plus knife into sheetrock unless I was digging my way out of a collapsed house.
"Utility" for me means as with most country boys I am the farm hand, yard man, stable boy and general maintenance person. We own horses and in the past I have had to release a tangled and frightened animal that would have sooner stomped me to death. My wife is a 4H horse driving leader and carries a spyderco rescue knife for just that reason. Not really my style but a fine knife for what it was designed for.
That Chris Reeves knive is sure a fine looking knife but is just off the scales of what what I would spend ..... and still tell my wife about it.
I would like a drop or clip point, something that will hold an edge, I have not hunted in more that 30 years so that doesn't fit into the selection process at all. I would like something to carry when I can't "carry" but I'm not really into tactical. One hand or auto opening is a must. I do carry a CRKT M1612-LE tanto point everyday at work and I abuse the hell out of it. It does not seem to hold an edge long and I'm not really looking for another tanto.
Thanks again for the help, I have much more to look at.
June 5, 2008, 09:57 PM
Look at the Benchmade Griptilian - great knife for like $75 or cheaper even. Once you get used to the Axis-Lock it's quick opening one-handed.
June 5, 2008, 11:55 PM
As much as I praise the Sebenza (the monstrous construction and smoothness of action is worth the price, in my opinion) I also carry a Griptilian for EDC.
June 6, 2008, 01:19 AM
kershaw tactical blurs are nice
i carry one with me everywhere.
benchmades are also really good.
June 6, 2008, 03:03 PM
so in the rough and tumble of EDC would anyone rule out an auto?
June 6, 2008, 03:20 PM
An auto would be a logical choice for SD, but in truth you can get Kershaws that deploy just as quickly and cost a lot less. My Scallion is my mainstay, and when I demonstrate how it opens it always generates a fair amount of surprise. The now-discontinued Camillus Heat, Blaze, and Sizzle series are equally quick opening. You can still occasionally find them, but not for long.
June 6, 2008, 05:16 PM
Fortunately, we live in a golden age for tool users. Technology and transport means stuff that is inexpensive doesn't have to be cheap, if you look around.
The Spyderco-designed and supervised Byrd line (http://www.newgraham.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=138) runs from about $12 (http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=5523)-30 (http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=44752) on New Graham.com. Many of them don't have pocket clips, so read product description carefully, but almost everyone who tries one, likes it.
CRKT (http://www.newgraham.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=68) also has a very "value based" line of folders.
I ordered a Boker Trance (http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=44724)last night. It'll run about $35 shipped, but you can find it cheaper on Cheaper Than Dirt (clip point only).
Nice to see ya here, Mark. Lots of good folk here, so don't be a stranger.
June 7, 2008, 09:18 AM
thanks for the welcome and you've brought up something I didn't want to say at the risk of offending someone.
As I surf through the knife manufacturers I keep asking myself What's the difference between the $30 to $80 dollar knife and the $300 one?
I don't know my steels that well but I'm familiar with D2 from work. I know that "hard" usually means brittle so what should I look for to hold a long life edge?
I have a CRKT M16-12LE for work and I do abuse it. It opens one handed very easily but I find the edge does not seem to hold up. I was looking at the Griptillians last night.
I believe I am learning the only way to know a knife would be to handle it.
June 7, 2008, 12:26 PM
There's usually a lot of obvious difference between, say, a $20 knife and a $60 knife. There's usually less difference between that $60 knife and a $100 knife, and even fewer discernable difference between that $100 knife and a $300 knife.
The differences are usually in finer fitting, higher order steels (which may be "better", but only for some applications. A supersteel may hold an edge almost forever, but also be extremely hard to sharpen), and sometimes custom scale materials.
Hope this helps.
June 7, 2008, 06:45 PM
and another question(s).. sorry. For an all arounder what is the pro and con of a partially serrated edge? What is S30V steel? It says it's a powdered steel. Huh?
The Benchmade 943 Osborne is looking pretty good for EDC for me.
June 7, 2008, 06:55 PM
June 7, 2008, 07:00 PM
Got this one for about 50 bucks online. Nice and solid, with a quality blade.
June 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
I'm sorry, I have less time than usual, so my answers won't be as complete. S30V is a steel that, in some knives, has shown really good edge holding. Other knife brands have had less success. In general, serrations especially help with cutting things like rope or carpet.
Most Benchmades are really good knives, and they have a dedicated following. When I was attached to SF for a few months, all of them had Benchmades. I personally like the "Spyderhole" and Spydercos in general, so I would be more likely to go for something like this (http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=6345) (if you're not concerned with a rough scale material tearing up good pants) for a good around super-slicing machine, or this (http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=45060)for a real tough-as-nails knife.
Shortdog, welcome to THR. Their quality may have improved in the last couple of years- I don't know. I do know that S&W knives in the past have been pretty low-quality.
June 7, 2008, 09:39 PM
Thanks John, you've been more than helpful, my questions were not solely directed at you even though it may have read that way I didn't mean to pester you. I know Spyderco is an excellent buy but I am just not a big fan of thumbhole knives. I can't even tell you why, just a personal preference I guess.
Shortdog, that's an auto correct? I do like autos knives but even though I can ccw firearms an auto knife is just considered too evil where I live :cuss: Where'd you find it?
June 7, 2008, 10:46 PM
I try not to appear to encourage people to buy what I like, but I know the knives I've bought and if I like them, I recommend them. I own a lot of the SOG models. What can I say?
Take a look at the SOG Mini-Vulcan and the Twitch XL for general purpose carry knives. The XL is an assisted opener (not a switch blade) and the mini-vulcan is essentially a gravity opening knife (a flick of the wrist). Both would be very good knives for personal protection and general carry. You'll love the way they open up and the blades are extremely sharp from the factory. I love these knives. I just got the mini-vulcan and love it. (I also have the larger SOG Vulcan, but feel it is too large for EDC.) They aren't particularly hard to re-sharpen either.
These knives are under $100 and worth the price.
I personally can not afford a Sebenza nor would I beat up a $300 folder. I have knives in that price range, but I don't use them for everyday chores.
A few years ago everyone was coming out with serrated or partially serrated edged knives. They are tougher to sharpen, but are great on things like rope. I prefer a plain edge although I have a couple fully serrated blades for special purposes. Knife makers are offering more plain edge knives again or a choice between either in the same model. The Spyderco Endura is an example. Have both styles. Nice blade. But I like the ones I mentioned earlier better.
June 8, 2008, 12:11 AM
The Benchmade Axis lock (which has been copied by SOG and others) is one of the strongest systems available. By adjusting the pivot tension, it can be opened as quickly as any automatic and closed, one-handed, faster than any assisted opener or automatic...other that a double action, such as an MT Scarab or BM Infidel.
The Sebenza is a fine knife. You can also look at the Bradley Alias. They are very close in design and material. Is the Sebenza worth twice that of a Bradley? It's your money. Both use S30V steel blades, titanium framelocks, and similar sizes. Perhaps the Sebenza pivot is worth doubling the price...perhaps not.
S30V steel is one of the new breed of steels that starts as powder. It's my understanding that this allows the various elements making up that particular steel to be more uniform. It seems to be one of the best all around choices for blade material.
That Benchmade 943 is an excellent piece (IMHO). It's certainly a good start into good quality EDC.
June 8, 2008, 01:08 AM
Spyderco is the way to go. They are definitely not a step down from Benchmade in anything. Except for maybe price, leaving you more value for your dollar.
June 8, 2008, 06:48 AM
As with motorcycles, there's an ass for every saddle.
my next question is 9mm, 40, or 45? ;)
Like I said, I do believe Spyderco is a fine knife. I think my wife could cut down a tree with her 93mm rescue folder . She's 5'10" blonde and it's a nice pretty blue for her ( I pick on her about that) but when it comes out it gets the job done and her friends usually look lke this :what: when she uses it
You all have shown me some fine pieces. Buying hardware store knives I honestly did not realize there were this many choices and variations out there. Considering what I come up against on a daily basis I think I am going to follow thru with the Benchmade 943 with the partially serrated edge. Looks and sounds like a quailty knive and I've been curious about Benchmade for a while. Hey, gotta start a collection somewhere.
June 8, 2008, 08:29 AM
What's so special about the Sebenza? :confused:
June 8, 2008, 08:33 AM
Hope you like the Benchmade. I'm not fond of partially serrated blades. Tried them out. I have at least a half-dozen or so. As you said, "there's an ass for every saddle".... Benchmades are good knives. Bet you can't buy just one!
June 8, 2008, 12:03 PM
What's so special about the Sebenza?
A good place to start for that answer is to do a search of this sub-forum for that word (Sebenza) and limit your search to posts by hso.
It shouldn't take you long to find what you're looking for.
At the heart of the matter is the character of the maker. Chris Reeves makes no junk. All of his stuff is over-engineered and unkillable-tough. Goes for his fixed blades as well.
I don't own a Sebenza, as I've managed to fool myself into believing I can't afford one.
On the other hand, hso does own one, has lots of experience with it, and gives you the straight dope on what he knows.
June 9, 2008, 01:33 AM
What's so special about the Sebenza?
I tried to elaborate on that in one of my earlier posts but here goes:
The quality of build can't be beat. This is a tough-as-hell working knife that can be passed down from generation to generation and it will still fit and function very well. It's silky smooth operating yet there's no doubt that you have a monstrously tough tool. The materials he uses are first rate. I've never had a problem witht he S30V in his Seb or the A2 in his Mountaineer.
Chris Reeve personally is a great guy in my experience. I have had several dealings with him and his shop, all have been first-rate. When I sent in an old (South African made and serial numbered) Mountaineer to be refinished I got a nice hand-written letter back with it from Ann, his wife. She gave me information about the knife's manufacture date and history of build (not to mention a beautifully re-finished knife.) Chris Reeve knives has earned my respect and support. (Now if they'd only make a thumbhole opener instead of a thumbstud opener...)
June 9, 2008, 06:28 AM
Before you buy, visit your local Wally World - the one that still has a Sporting counter. Look at the knife display picture - you'll see a decent, although tanto-style, Kershaw Blur and a few other goodies. Most important, and it's item #60 around here, a Spyderco Native in S30V. US-made - and, yes, with a thumb hole, which I would never try, much less buy. My wife bought it for me a year ago, after seeing me look at it in the store. It is a keeper! The first thing I did was remove the clip. It's a constant pocket companion these days - cuts everything from food to cardboard - and rope, although it is not serrated, so it takes a bit more time. I still haven't touched up the edge, but I hear that the Spydie Sharpmaker I have will suffice for that, albeit slowly. At $39.48 there, it's a lot cheaper than any mail order site.
As I stated, my hard-headed feelings re thumbholes kept me away from Spydercos. They share an attribute with Buck knives which I appreciate, however - they come sharp as can be. My huge sampling of two Benchmades, a Grip in 440C (The Axis Lock is great - the blade slurps!) and an Activator+ fixed blade in D2 - matching level of dullness. I can't understand why they were shipped so dull.
BTW, another US-made must-have knife from Wally-world - the Buck 110 folding hunter. At $25, it is an unreal deal - well below dealer's cost. It is a great barely pocketable knife - it's properly heat-treated 420HC blade isn't that far from the super steels, like the S30V. You can buy a pair of quality US-made knives at Wally-world for $65 + s/t.
June 9, 2008, 04:19 PM
Stainz, thanks I am in Wally World once a week so I will check those out. At those prices I might just have to relent and buy a thumbhole knife myself. I saw Buck 110 autos on line for $130.00, ouch, but what really amazes me is it was listed as 4.00 lbs???
June 9, 2008, 07:52 PM
The Buck 110 is a manual lockback - and it is heavy - ~7.2 oz. It's list price is $64 for the basic model. Below is a trio of my best 110s. The top is an S30V bladed 'Alaskan Guide' - only from Cabela's ($68). The middle is a Buck Custom Shop BG-42/NiAg bolster/Fiji orangewood, while the bottom is a Buck Custom Shop teardrop Damascus/NiAg bolster/flaming Koa scaled version. Custom Shop prices recently went up appreciably, so I won't mention what I paid for mine. The blades are 3.75" long. Check out the standard Buck 110 at Wally World - in Paul Bos heat-treated 420HC steel, they are super sharp, stay sharp, yet resharpen easily.
BTW When I said "Buck 110 autos" I should've said "auto conversions"
August 9, 2008, 08:12 AM
Dug up this oldie for a comment.
I found a benchmade 943 on ebay I felt I had to have. Priced at $120 with $5 for shipping, sounded reasonable so I bought it. I paid instantly with paypal then got excuses and promises from the seller. 45 days later, no knife and I filed a claim. About 10 days after that the money was put back into my paypal account. This is the first bad experience I have ever had from an ebay seller, and he had a real good rating. I still have not bought a good knife ...and I'm just a bit leery of ebay now.
August 9, 2008, 09:31 PM
EKA makes a hardwood handled lock back. This knife features laminated Scandinavian steel.
My everyday pocket knife is Schrade Uncle Henry Bruin with fake stag handle. To keep it from sliding out of my pocket, I simply wrap a large rubber band around the handle couple times. Its not a weapon, just a great lifetime cutting tool. The stainless steel blade is easily re-sharpened with an ordinary butcher's steel rod.